Dry eyes are a common complaint, especially if you live in a dry area or spend a lot of time looking at a computer or TV screen. Medicated eye drops can sometimes provide lubrication and solve the problem, but if your eyes are still itchy and dry after such conservative treatment, it might be time to consider a more thorough solution.
At Ventura Eye Institute in Camarillo, California, our professional team of eye care specialists can provide you with a noninvasive, effective solution for your dry eye problem. We can literally wash out the gland that helps produce the right kind of hydration for your eyes, unclogging it and allowing your eyes to return to a self-moisturizing state.
Signs of meibomian gland dysfunction
Dry eyes are nothing new, and typically nothing to worry about. You might experience dry, itchy eyes for a number of reasons, ranging from screen time to smoking. There are two primary causes for dry eye syndrome: decreased tear production and increased tear evaporation.
Your tears contain three necessary components. These include:
- Aqueous fluid, or the water of your tears
- Mucus, which provides lubrication
- Meibum, the oil that prevents evaporation
If there is an imbalance of any of these, it can lead to dry eyes. However, a common cause of dry eyes is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). This occurs when the tiny glands on your eyelids, the ones responsible for producing meibum oil, become clogged.
How a meibomian gland washout works
At Ventura Eye Institute, our providers can successfully diagnose MGD and begin preparing you for a washout as soon as possible.
The meibomian gland washout procedure is minimally invasive, meaning that no incisions or anesthesia are necessary. Instead, topical anesthetic is applied and your meibomian glands are gently probed and cleared of any existing debris.
The probing can also stimulate atrophied muscles that may be compressing your glands and preventing the necessary amount of oil to escape. In most cases, the gentle probing almost instantly relaxes the gland, and oil washes out, mixing with your water-based tears and quickly restoring balance.
This process allows your eyes to return to their normal state of health, with evaporation slowed to a regular pace, and dry eyes effectively resolved.
What to expect from your treatment
We perform washouts in our office, using a topical eye-drop anesthetic so you won’t feel any discomfort. Most people only require one treatment, though you might need repeat probing if your glands continue to become clogged. This is more common among those who work in environments where there is a lot of dust or other debris. In such cases, protective eyewear may also help prevent future issues.
Struggling with dry eyes? Learn more about the meibomian gland washout and discuss your options with the team at Ventura Eye Institute. To get in touch, call 805-388-1211, or visit the contact page for more options.